The No. 11 Kent State University Men’s Golf Team did not advance advance to match play, finishish the 2017 NCAA National Championship in 21st place with a 17-over par score of 881 (289-293-299).
The Golden Flashes needed to catch the top-15 teams on Sunday but came up 10 strokes short. Kent State was one of nine teams still competing for a spot in round four with nine holes left, but hit a few set backs on holes 3-7 that took them out of the mix.
“We never really got any momentum going this week,” said head coach Herb Page, a finalist for national coach of the year. “But I’m proud of these guys, they kept fighting and they never gave up. We even made a little run this morning. This is still one of the best seasons we’ve ever had. They are all great young men and I’m very proud of them. We will be back.”
Bjarki Petursson ended as the team’s top finisher at even par 216. After two rounds of 68 and 69, Petursson hit a rough patch and shot a 79, taking him out of contention for an individual national championship. The sophomore finished the tournament shooting 4.17 on par-5’s, the second best average in the field.
Senior Josh Whalen (pictured above) capped off his collegiate career by shooting 6-over par 222 over three rounds. Whalen had his best round of the weekend Sunday at even par 72. Two strokes back was MAC Golfer of the Year Ian Holt at 8-over par 224. Holt also had his best round Sunday at 1-over par 73.
Chase Johnson and Gisli Sveinbergsson each finished at 16-over par 232. Johnson finished with a 78 Sunday, while Sveinbergsson shot a 76. Sveinbergsson had a rough start to the tournament, but his 37 pars were six off the overall lead for the tournament through three rounds.
The Flashes have the foundation in place to make another run at a NCAA National Championship in 2018. The team will return four golfers from the lineup, including two MAC Golfer of the Year honorees, the 2017 MAC Champion and their highest finisher at this year’s Nationals.
On top of those four, Kent State have a stable of talented golfers on campus and three of the best junior golfers in Ohio starting their careers in the fall of 2017.
Story courtesy of the Kent State Athletic Dept.